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Bay Area News Group to Eliminate Monday Home Delivery of Daily Review and Argus

Newspaper company announces plans to keep masthead of Oakland Tribune; reduces number of expected layoffs to 25.

Bay City News and Staff Reports — The Bay Area News Group, which publishes the Hayward-based Daily Review and the Fremont-based Argus newspapers, announced Thursday that it is reversing course and will allow the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times and most of its other East Bay newspapers to retain their own mastheads.

The newspaper group, which operates 12 daily newspapers in the East Bay, the South Bay and the Peninsula, had announced in August that it was rebranding many of its newspapers to "better reflect the scope of its regional coverage" and would only have two mastheads.

The East Bay Tribune was to incorporate the Oakland Tribune, the Alameda Times-Star, the Daily Review and the Argus; the West County Times and The Times was to incorporate the Walnut Creek-based Contra Costa Times and several other papers in the outlying areas of the East Bay.

But Bay Area News Group President Mac Tully said Thursday, "We have found a way to keep the Oakland Tribune and most mastheads" based on feedback from readers who opposed the proposed change.

"Instead of emphasizing regional news, we will have more in-depth local news, and we think people will be excited about that," Tully said at a news conference at the Tribune after he announced the decision to the paper's staff.

However, starting in early November, Monday editions of the Tribune, Daily Review, Argus and Alameda Times-Star will no longer be home-delivered. An electronic version of those papers will be available to subscribers.

David Butler, editor of the news group's Bay Area newspapers, said the changes planned by the news group will still result in job cuts but not as many as originally planned.

Butler said the group had planned to lay off up to 48 newsroom employees but now only about 25 news employee positions will be cut.

Tully said the news group will still proceed with plans to close its printing press operation in Walnut Creek and move those production operations to an existing printing complex in San Jose.

Carl Hall, the executive officer of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents employees at many news organizations in Northern California and Hawaii, said "the number of layoffs is smaller than we had feared, but it's still a big number."

Hall said the 25 news employees who will be let go represent about 10 percent of the Bay Area News Group's employees in the East Bay and "it's a sad day for journalism quality when you lay off that high a percentage," especially since the news group has cut many other reporters in recent years.

The company also announced to employees a number of efforts intended to increase its foothold in digital media and local news, for example by bringing back a stand-alone local news section, expanding offerings on mobile devices and adding local bloggers.

The roll out of the changes is expected to begin in early November.

The Bay Area News Group is a division of the California Newspapers Partnership, which is owned by Denver-based MediaNews Group along with partners Stephens Media and Gannett Inc.

Brash Brazen October 28, 2011 at 02:32 AM
This piece of crap remainder of our beloved local papers is a sorry excuse for journalism. Totally lacking in the everyday reporting of news in our community,cutting features & columnists & strung together with items from the wire services, it's unworthy of being used to line bird cages or wrap fish. Why anyone would subscribe to this pathetic rag,much less read it is lost on me. Why not give up & close down now & quit calling your appalling periodical a newspaper. It insults our intelligence.
Marga Lacabe October 28, 2011 at 04:06 AM
I think BANG has taken notice of the Patch and decided it might be worth emulating. Of course, as they haven't had a reporter for San Leandro in over a year, I don't think Tom has anything to worry about.
Frank Mellon October 28, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Eliminate home delivery!!!!!!!!!!! Bury the victim now.
scott sizar October 28, 2011 at 02:08 PM
so....does that mean our monthly subcription price is going down?
Timothy Swenson October 28, 2011 at 02:30 PM
If I am only going to get 6 newspapers instead of 7, then the price had better drop by 1/7th. I am not interested in a electronic edition of the newspaper. I don't want to have to boot up my computer just to read the newspaper while eating breakfast. Plus, the current online edition of The Argus is a bare shadow of the print edition and it is incredibly difficult to navigate. For an online edition, The Argus needs to take its cue from the Tri-City Voice.
Zinn October 28, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I quit taking a home delivered paper 3 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I eliminated all that paper, get an online edition which is very cheap and get the sale adds in the mail every Monday or Tuesday. As long as they continue to report local news I have no problem with the changes..
Doug October 28, 2011 at 04:37 PM
I'm glad we now have the San Lorenzo Patch. Thank You For The Vodou That You Do!!!
Ken Martin October 28, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I am old enough to be addicted to a DAILY (EVERY DAY!) printed newspaper delivered to my door. ALL I pay for is the delivery. The abundance of advertisements pay for the paper itself. My annual delivery fee is $158.04. When 15% of the delivery is stopped is my annual going to be lowered to $134.34?? Don't hold your breath!! So now on Monday, if I want a printed newspaper, I can go to our local newsstand and by one at 75 cents per copy, which works out to $39.00 per year, effectively raising my annual fee by that amount (not to mention the inconvenience). Another glutted corporation craps on the consumers!!! Flood Mac Tully's office with e-mails of protest at mtully@bayareanewsgroup.com. First Carol Thornberry, Now Monday delivery. What's next???
Barry Kane October 29, 2011 at 01:58 AM
I have Mon-Fri home delivery for $35.00 per year for the Daily Review (BANG) and subscribe to the SF Chronicle on Sunday. No biggie to lose Monday, it has almost nothing to read anyway. Would love to have some actual local news though.
Jim S. November 07, 2011 at 06:18 AM
Jim S. If I am only going to receive six out seven papers that I have paid a yearly fee for, then I expect a 1/7th rebate. If not, be prepared lose a long term subscriber. Count on it! While some changes you have made are understandable, considering the economy, short shrifting your client base is unconscionable. Why is it the Argus that is exclusively losing Monday deliveries? . Further, if what I've been seeing since you've made the change to what is now considered the new "Local news" section, losing it for the remaining six days, won't be a problem, and soon you'll become a weekly. Reluctantly we are prepared to move on.
Jim S. November 07, 2011 at 06:27 AM
While I'm venting, where is Baldo? I do all crosswords daily, but I don't like your new crossword in the games section. Go back to the previous version. Also my wife asks, "what happened to the Sunday Wonderword"?
snickerdoodle1 November 07, 2011 at 06:32 PM
It makes no sense to cancel Monday delivery. Since the Sunday paper is actually produced on Saturday, Monday is the first actual "news" in 2 days. It would make more sense to stop another weekday.
Ken Martin November 16, 2011 at 09:46 PM
I found it interesting that, with the suspension of delivery last Monday, the next day I received TWO Tuesday papers. So much for saving any money by not producing a Monday edition.
Typical Reader March 20, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Looks like B.A.N.G. is going bankrupt......but before going under, they are engaging in classic CORPORATE MALFEASANCE .

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